Home > Harbor News > Convicted murderer Brian Bassett in Grays Harbor Court today to review sentence

Convicted murderer Brian Bassett in Grays Harbor Court today to review sentence

June 16, 2014

A court date is set today regarding a possible updated sentence for convicted murderer Brian Bassett.

In 1995, Bassett, along with Nicholaus McDonald, was convicted as a 16 year old in the murder of his parents Michael and Wendy Bassett and his 5 year old brother Austin.

In March, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5064, which dealt with anyone sentenced to a life sentence as a juvenile.

In June 2012 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the eighth amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment forbids sentencing that mandates life in prison without the possibility of parole for juveniles.

The court said that when a youth is convicted of murder before the age of 18, the judge must focus on the youth and assess their chances of becoming rehabilitated. The judge can only impose a sentence of life without parole if the judge concludes the sentence “proportionally” punishes the youth, given all of the factors.

Under Washington law, aggravated murder is punishable by either a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. As of June 1, youth convictions must be re-evaluated. This includes the conviction for McDonald.

Bassett will be in Grays Harbor Superior Court this afternoon, once again facing Judge Godfrey.

KXRO will be there.

Sixteen-year-old Brian Bassett is led by deputies to a Grays Harbor County Courtroom in Montesano, Wash., Friday, March 22, 1996, to hear the verdict in his trial for the murder of his parents and 5-year-old brother. Bassett was found guilty on three counts of aggravated first degree murder for the August, 1995 slayings. (AP Photo/Louie Balukoff)
LOUIE BALUKOFF — AP

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